Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New York Stories #2: Orange

Here's another response to "Calling All New Yorkers." Orange sent in this story, and you can read more at her blog.

I live in NYC Metropolitan, 27, single, Female, full time phd student and part time research assistant at a college.

I have been following your blog religiously for a long time and a while ago I started my own, link is: http://orange4money.blogspot.com

One of my today's post is actually is a story of my finances:
Digging Myself Out of My Personal Mess

This year I will be making $25,000. Through 2007 I paid off $10,000 debt and have $3,000 lined up for next week, then I will be debt free:)

I did drastic stuff to save money to pay off the debt, I remember eating bread and cheap cheap cheese for a whole week (yuck!) because I was waiting for my paycheck.

I am European and my family is not rich, so being in NY is a little overwhelming, especially given my income is not as high as everyone else's, and sometimes having no family around is too much.

My biggest money spending is probably on milk and chocolate, oh well:) and in terms of clothing I stopped going to malls while ago. I do love to follow trends but until my credit card balances paid off no new clothing for me.

I do make hand made bags on my spare time, so that I do not spend money on gifts, and I have a Macy's credit card where they give free giftwrapping, so I use that and make sure I do not pay $5 for gift wrapping/gift. I tried to sell the bags but no one purchased, or I don't know how to sell them:)

Long story short, I am living, paying off my debt and hopefully will be saving for my future.

I'm always amazed at how people in academia can get by financially! You have to spend so many years and so much money on your education, and then it seems like finding a job can be tough. It's exciting that Orange is so close to being debt-free, and I'll be following her blog to see how it goes!

Other posts in this series:
New York Stories #1: Bronx Chica


Adrienne said...

If she is looking to sell handbags she should try Etsy.com. It's like ebay but for handmade stuff. I sell things there and have had some success. However, handbags are quite common there. Maybe look to making something differnt (baby clothes are popular).

Anonymous said...


This is Orange:)
Thank you Madame X! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw my story was published:)

Yesterday I paid off all my debt in full, so today is my 1st debt free day:)

I am definetly going to check etsy.com, thank you very much simone.

Have a great day everybody!

Noel Larson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Noel Larson said...

Congratz Orange!

Many Phd student stop due to finances. It is great to hear that you are doing all of the thing needed to make it. A great accomplishment!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Orange! Debt free!

I just went to your blog and read the story of how you did two wonderful things. First, you lost a tremendous amount of weight, and second, you completely paid off a crushing debt. So now you are healthy, wealthy, and wise!

You are a heroine!

And thank you, Madame X, for publishing Orange's inspiring story.

Anonymous said...

$27K for a phd stipend isn't too bad. Living in the bay area, I think mine was $17K and my husbands was $23. Those were tough years. Good for you for paying off your debt!

Anonymous said...

I think I have a little more income than other phd students, cause I worked through all summer. However $25K is pretax, so after the taxes I am down to $21,500 ish per year.

The positive side is, I am on full scholarship so at least I don't pay for my classes. But I still do pay for my own health insurance and registration fees for school.

Thank you very much again Madame X and thank you all for the great comments:)